Classic GI

A Look Back At Street Cat

by Andrew Reiner on Sep 14, 2010 at 12:00 PM

One of my favorite sections in Game Informer Magazine is Classic GI, a department dedicated exclusively to the history of video games. Whenever I read one of Classic GI's articles, or step foot into Game Informer's expansive vault (now housing over 12,000 games), I'm taken aback by the dramatic evolution of this entertainment medium. We've come a long way fast. For every game that created a new trend there's a game that defies logic. For every Halo Reach, you'll find a Street Cat.

I stumbled upon this long forgotten Amiga game while doing research for an upcoming magazine feature. After laughing at the box art, and going well out of my way to learn everything about this game, I realized that we need to bring more Classic GI content to you on the website. Why not start with Street Cat? He is, after all, responsible for my promise to bring more retro content to the website.

We obviously have an entire library of games to delve into, but we'd also love to hear your classic game stories and suggestions. Please feel free to send us a Classic GI news tip, or go ahead and leave a message in the comments below.

And now Street Cat.

Using a publishing philosophy similar to what Electronic Arts and Activision deploy today, publisher US Gold released Street Cat on almost every platform available in 1987. It graced the Amiga, Armstrad CPC, Commodore 64, DOS, and the Atari ST. Now defunct developer Rainbow Arts (of Turrican fame) brought this gem to the market.

Street Cat's box art doesn't get across the game's concept at all. If anything, it suggests bowling, and to a lesser extent, cat dress-up. A bowling alley is present in the game, but like all of the other environments that Street Cat explores, it is set up as an obstacle course. Apparently, a Street Cat is a cat that can ride balls, jump on trampolines, and navigate jungle gym-like structures. If you can picture American Gladiators starring cats instead of roided up WWF flunkies, you have a good idea of what this game has to offer. In other words, it's a golden concept that should come back today.

On an interesting side note, the game was originally released in Europe under the name Bad Cat. The cat that appears on the European box art does a decent job of describing the game. It also shows us that Bad Cat is "bad" because he spray painted his name on the wall. The Rambo headband and Marty McFly vest could also imply that he's a loose cannon.

Poor sales at the time of release has turned both Street Cat and Bad Cat into rare video game collectibles. I think you'll agree that no collection is complete without Street Cat in it.

Before heading out, make sure you treat yourself to the video below. The ending is a real eye-opener.